During the meeting, the EU Domestic Advisory Group (EU DAG) prepared for the meetings with Korea: the workshop on labour-related aspects and the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum, which will take place on 9-10 September 2015 in Seoul. The EU DAG discussed in particular its contributions to a debate with Korea on labour standards, as well as on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and civil society participation in development and implementation of climate change policy.
You are here
In Asia, the EESC maintains relations with civil society organisations in China, Japan and South-Korea. An official Civil Society Round Table with China is in place: it was set up in 2007 following the 9th EU-China Summit and convenes at least once a year. In recent years, the Committee has invested in developing closer relations with organised civil society in Japan, in view of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement which assigns a monitoring and advisory role to civil society.
The EU- Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in 2011, was the first of the so-called new generation of EU trade agreements. These agreements are characterised by the inclusion of trade and sustainable development chapters, and give the EESC – together with civil society organisations in Korea – a formal role in monitoring its implementation and advising the respective political authorities in the areas of environmental, social and labour standards and other matters which are of direct relevance to civil society. Three meetings of the EU Domestic Advisory Group are held in each year; a joint meeting takes place once a year.
Furthermore, the EESC engages with civil society in other Asian countries and in relevant international events on an ad hoc basis. One example is the bi-annual Europe-Asia People's Forum, the interregional civil society platform, which is part of the Asia-Europe Meeting.
During the meeting, the EU DAG discussed with a representative of the European Commission the preparation for the meetings with Korea under the trade and sustainable development chapter, as well as about the current business environment in Korea and presentation of the white paper of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea. Preparations of the 6th meeting of the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum in Seoul were also discussed.
During the 6th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF), participants discussed labour standards with the ILO representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Both DAGs also exchanged information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. They then adopted final conclusions.
The 4th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF) followed a workshop on labour-related aspects held on 9 September during which members of the EU and Korea DAGs had discussed the situation on the labour markets in the EU and the Republic of Korea, including rules concerning fixed-term contracts and minimum wages. At the CSF, participants discussed labour standards with the ILO representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Both DAGs also exchanged information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. Moreover, participants discussed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), policy of the Parties in this respect, as well as proposals for future cooperation.
The 16th EU-China Civil Society Round Table will take place in Varna, Bulgaria from 28 May to 29 May 2018.
The topics of the Round Table meeting will be the following: Social security and social solidarity mechanisms, and trade and investment as part of EU-China relations. In the fringes of the Round Table, a tripartite seminar on EU-China Tourism Year 2018 will be organised.
During the meeting, the Commission representatives (DG TRADE) provided information concerning implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and its trade and sustainable development chapter. The EU DAG discussed also and adopted its two opinions foreseen for presentation at the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum: on implementation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and on green economy and free trade. Moreover, the EU DAG discussed and adopted its work programme for the years 2012-2013.
As the negotiations of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement are reaching a final stage, Members of the EESC Japan Follow-up Committee are preparing a mission to exchange views with Japanese stakeholders, about a possible joint civil society mechanism monitoring the implementation and the impact of the FTA.
From 28th September 2015 to 1st October 2015 EESC Members Mrs Batut, Ms Päärendson and Mr Pater will attend a Seminar organized by the EU Institute in Kobe on the impact on employment and skills development. On 29th September 2015, EESC Members will contribute to the Symposium held by the EU institute in Kyushu, entitled "the EU-Japan FTA/EPA – Source for growth and jobs".
During the meeting, the Chair of the EU DAG under the new mandate was elected. The Group also discussed its mandate, working methods, reporting procedures and cooperation with other civil society organisations, as well as exchanged views on its rules of procedure and assess possible amendments . Moreover, the EU DAG discussed with representatives of the EC matters related to the implementation of the EU-Korea FTA under three pillars of sustainable development.
During the meeting, the Commission representatives (DG TRADE) provided information concerning implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and its trade and sustainable development chapter. On the latter, the Commission provided also information concerning preparations for the meeting with the Korean Government representatives planned for 11 September 2013. The EU DAG discussed also its contributions to discussion with the Korean counterparts at the labour workshop and EU-Korea Civil Society Forum scheduled for 12-13 September 2013 in Seoul. For this purpose, the Group prepared two positions: on labour standards and on green economy and trade.
During the meeting, the EEAS representative presented information about the EU relations with the Republic of Korea. The European Commission updated participants on the implementation of the EU-Korea FTA and its trade and sustainable development chapter. It also presented the state of play and the next steps in the ex-post evaluation of the agreement as well as the preparation of joint projects with Korea. The EU DAG also had the opportunity to discuss with a Member of the European Parliament the work of the civil society monitoring mechanism in the framework of the EU-Korea FTA. The EU DAG discussed moreover amendments to its rules of procedure and lessons learned from its first mandate (2012-2015) and proceeded to elect the Chair for the new term. Preparatory discussions were held in view of the next EU-Korea Civil Society Forum due to take place in Brussels, in the second semester of 2016.